Class, Generation and Social Milieu

  • David Butler
  • Donald Stokes


We must look outward to the voters’ environment as well as inward to their attitudes and beliefs if we are to explain the links of class and party. There is a sociological as well as a psychological reality to these connections, and we must move beyond our analysis of the beliefs linking class and politics in the voter’s mind to consider aspects of the social milieu which forge a link between class and party. We shall first examine the transmission of social and political identifications in the initial social group, the childhood family. We shall then extend this analysis to consider ways in which this inheritance is aided or inhibited by education and the social environments of the later years. Such a discussion poses interesting questions about the political effects of broad changes in the structure of the economy and in Britain’s social policies for education and housing. At the end of the chapter we shall extend the treatment of the social milieu to include other sources of the political information and political cues to which the voter is exposed.


Middle Class Housing Policy Social Milieu Downward Mobility Political Information 
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Copyright information

© David Butler and Donald Stokes 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Butler
    • 1
  • Donald Stokes
    • 2
  1. 1.Nuffield CollegeOxfordUK
  2. 2.Princeton UniversityUSA

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